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"Original Sin" {Blu-Ray}
Roxanne Romero
Studio: MGM
Release Date:
Special Features:

Audio Commentary, Music Video, Original Theatrical Trailer Rating: Unrated


"Original Sin" starts out by introducing us to the very wealthy Cuban coffee plantation owner, Luis Vargas (Antonio Banderas). He is a man who has it all -- except love. So, he buys it in the form of a mail-order bride from Delaware. They exchange letters and photographs, but when he goes to meet her at the docks, he is approached by the very beautiful Julia (Angelina Jolie), who admits that she is his intended, having tricked him by sending him photographs of a plain Jane, so that he would love her for her and not her face. Luis then admits that he lied to her as well. In his letters, he claimed to be just a coffee plant worker, not the owner of the plantation. The pair bond in their shared deception and get married the next morning. Luis offers to wait until she is comfortable with him before they consummate the marriage. Surprised and touched by his gesture, Julia agrees. Before long, they come together and we see a deep passion blossom between them. Luis is completely in love with Julia. Despite some suspicious behavior at the theatre where he catches her speaking to an actor in a devil costume as though she knows him, he opens his life to her completely, giving her full access to all his money and business affairs. Julia's sister, Emily, writes several letters to her, but, upon getting no reply, she hires detective Downs (Thomas Jane) to search out Julia. At Luis' behest, Julia writes one letter to her sister. Next, we see Emily in Luis' home, distraught because the letter she received is not from her sister! Luis' money is gone, so is his wife. But, we learn there is much more to Julia and Detective Downs than we realize.***

This film is full of twists and turns, not all of which make sense. It seems as though writer/director Michael Cristofer had so many thoughts in his head for this plot that he threw them all at the page and tried to puzzle stick them together. At times, it worked. But the on-again-off-again and the back and forth of Julia's character made it just downright confusing. While Angelina Jolie is easily believable as the seductress thief, and Antonio Banderas as the blinded-by-love husband, their chemistry seemed forced. Perhaps it is because of the graphic nature of their relationship distracts the audience. ---

Image & Sound:

While the images on this Blu-ray are for the most part detailed and richly colorful, at times grain, dust and even scratches are visible. It's a little distracting the first time but, gets a slightly annoying as you progress through the film because it is a such a contrast to the look of the film itself. The settings and costumes are so lavish and uniquely decorated. Each location is absolutely gorgeous and all the detail really pops with the Blu-Ray resolution.***

As far as sound goes, it is nothing short of amazing. The audio is so clear, and the music never overpowers the actor's voice. ---

Special Features:

When this film was released on DVD back in 2001, two versions were released: an R rated and an Unrated. This Blu-Ray release only features the unrated style. Arguably, this is a little special feature in itself. However, having only seen this version, I can't say what's different from the theatrical release. I can ballpark some guesses and they land somewhere in the region of the explicit sex, which may have been less explicit in the theatrical release.***

We also get the music video for the theme of the movie,"You Can't Walk Away from Love" by Gloria Estefan. It is your everyday music video for a movie theme, following along the lines of "My Heart Will Go On", which we all know from "Titanic", except replace Ms. Dion with Ms. Estefan and get rid of the boat.***

The original theatrical trailer is exactly what it sounds like: It's that one that played before your feature presentation.***

Lastly, we are offered an audio commentary with director, Michael Cristofer. As far as commentaries go, this was middle of the road. It would have benefitted from another perspective or even one other person talking. It's nice to hear the director's point of view, but after awhile, the little anecdotes and on-screen narration just blur together. ---

Final Words:

Now, if there were ever a cautionary tale about the dangers of internet dating. Well, internet dating back in the 1880s. All in all, this movie isn't horrible. In fact, if you just let yourself go with it, you'll find some interesting and intriguing moments to pull you in. "Original Sin" is the perfect film for a free Saturday afternoon with not much else on your plate.


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